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Birthdate & Date of Loss

Date of birth: September 8, 1928
Date of death: October 26, 1966
Age: 38

Lucky Bag

1951 Welch LB.jpg

From the 1951 Lucky Bag:

Clyde Ray Welch

Sommerville, Texas

Clyde "Tex" Welch . . . the Lone Star Texan from Sommerville who's Air Force bound . . . his tall tales and speeches about the glories and achievements of his state, along with his love for black-eyed peas and cornbread, are abounding and unexcelled . . . his perpetual smile and his gay and pleasant attitude will be remembered . . . along with these humanistic qualities are his friendliness, his church activities, his good temper and his eternal willingness to do a friend a favor . . . when his mind is turned to athletics, his primary joys are squash, tennis, and basketball . . . with his interest turning more and more to Air World, we hope to soon see him flying high in his career ... a hard man to beat at anything.

He was also a member of the 15th Company staff (winter).


Clyde was lost on October 26, 1966 in the fire aboard USS Oriskany (CVA 34) that killed forty-four officers and injured 156 others. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


From Virtual Wall:

1951 graduate of the Naval Academy.

Served aboard a frigate in Korean War.

Got his wings at Naval Air Station Pensacola.

Stationed at the Alameda Naval Air Station with the “Flying Redcocks.“

Later headed squadrons out of Miramar and Lemoore (Miramar was a Master Jet Station in the 1950’s)

Namesake of Welch Park at Lake Somerville, Texas.

Distinguished Flying Cross

From Hall of Valor:

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Commander Clyde Ray Welch (NSN: 0-542235), United States Navy, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as a pilot during operations over hostile North Vietnamese territory on 22 October 1966.

General Orders: All Hands (February 1968)
Action Date: October 22, 1966
Service: Navy
Rank: Commander


Clyde is among those names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. As his loss was not due directly to hostile action, though, he does not appear in the VIetnam War section of the Killed In Action panel in Memorial Hall.

Related Articles

Gerald Siebe '64 was also lost in this fire.

Class Navigation

Class of 1951
Clyde is one of 48 members of the Class of 1951 in Memorial Hall.
<< Edward Wood '51 Peter Sherman '51 >>